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Nuestra Herencia, a poem by AmeriCorps member Ángel Medina

Nuestra Herencia

Estos niños son joven

Pero en sus ojos, se ve la vejez

En los días en que están presentes

Les encuentras lejos, en sus propios mundos

 

Estos chavalitos son ruidosos, distraídos

Pero si prestes una oreja

Escuchas sus añoranzas de refugio

un rincón donde pueden ser ellos mismos sin pena

 

Unos siempre con la capucha puesta o

Con maquillaje portando unos airforces blancos

Porque cuando pasen por los detectores de metales

Son despojados de si mismos

Desvistos y cualquier detalle que les hace únicos

Es borrado y se convierten en numero 1,2,3….

 

“Tu fit ta chido guillermo”

 

Algunos no tienen padres, pero ya son los encargados

Proveedores y guardianes hormonales

Ni tienen idea, pero supuestamente ya lo saben todo

“De qué me sirve esto?”

 

Sigo diariamente preguntándoles si todavía no entiendan por qué les sirve

Lo valioso que es

El valor de su herencia

Pagado en sacrificio, generaciones de lucha

 

“¿De qué hablas city year?”

-” De nuestra educación compa.”

 


 

Our Inheritance

These kids are young

But in their eyes, you can see old age

On the days they are present

You find them far away, in their own worlds

 

These kiddos are noisy, distracted

But if you lend an ear

You can hear their yearning for a haven

a corner where they can be themselves without shame

 

Some always with their hood on or

with makeup stuntin’ white air forces

Because when they pass through the metal detectors

They are stripped of themselves

undone and any detail that makes them unique

Is erased and they become number 1,2,3….

 

“Cool fit Guillermo”

 

Some have no fathers, but they are already in charge

Providers and hormonal guardians

They don’t have a clue, but supposedly already know everything

“Is this useful to me?”

 

Everyday I keep asking them if they still don’t understand why it’s useful

How valuable it is

The worth of their inheritance

Paid in sacrifice, generations of struggle so you-

 

“Whatchu talkin about city year?”

-” Our education homie.”

 


 

Ángel Ignacio Medina is a City Year AmeriCorps member serving at East High School.

Originally from southern California, Ángel graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a degree in Spanish and linguistics. Understanding the need for more men of color working in education, he decided to serve with City Year and moved to Kansas City last July.

When asked what he enjoys most about working at City Year, he says, “My favorite part [is] getting to work with so many young freshman Latinx minds and being able to shape their critical thinking skills and teach them about the power of their own identities.”

“Nuestra Herencia” was written to give readers “a taste of the daily issues the students deal with, to advocate for a little more empathy and understanding rather than the usual narrative of delinquency”, as described by Ángel. The piece was written for City Year Kansas City’s Day of Idealism—a day-long celebration of our AmeriCorps members, students, and individuals in Kansas City who challenge cynicism and put idealism into action.

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